An American gold medalist couldn't stop 'crying tears of joy' following her 'poetic' victory honoring her late father
- Team USA's Tamyra Mensah-Stock won gold in women's freestyle 68kg wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics.
- The 28-year-old couldn't stop crying "tears of joy" in her post-victory television interview.
- She called the win "poetic" after beating Nigeria - the rival of her late father's native Ghana.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock made history as America's first Black woman to win a gold medal in Olympic wrestling.
And she couldn't stop sobbing over her historic - and poetic - victory on sport's biggest stage.
The Katy, Texas, native was overcome with emotion as she sat down for a TV spot with NBC following her big win. She told her interviewer that she kept "trying not to cry, but it keeps happening" and added "I just want to go into a dark room and just cry" between sobs.
"But crying from joy!" Mensah-Stock made sure to add.
She had a lot to celebrate. Not only did the 28-year-old make history and win gold with her 4-1 win against Blessing Oborududu in the women's freestyle 68kg wrestling final at the Tokyo Olympics, but she did it against someone from Nigeria - the rival of her late father's native Ghana.
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"He would've been the loudest one here," Mensah-Stock said of her father, who died when she was in high school. "He would be so proud. He would be so happy."
"He's from Ghana, too," she added. "Don't say this out loud, but he was, like, enemies with Nigeria so it's kind of poetic that I had to wrestle Nigeria in the finals."
Mensah-Stock - who first started wrestling in 10th grade at her twin sister's urging - said that "being an Olympic champ is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life, and I can say it's well worth it."
Even despite the challenging journey to reach the podium, she never had any doubt that she'd be able to win an Olympic gold medal.
"I knew I could do it," Mensah-Stock said. "I knew it would be hard. I prayed that I could do it. In my wildest dreams, I knew."
"I prayed that all the practice, that the hell that my freakin' coaches put me through pays off," she continued. "And every single time, it does, and I get better and better."
"There is no cap to the limit that I can do, and I'm excited to see what I have next," she added.
But perhaps most notable from her wild interview was the important message Mensah-Stock delivered to the young girls watching her from their couches at home:
"Just because you're a female, it doesn't mean you can't accomplish the biggest of goals," Mensah-Stock said.
Check out the full NBC interview here.
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